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SCL applies for clearance to acquire Medlab South

Southern Community Laboratories applies for clearance to acquire Medlab South

The Commerce Commission has received an application from Southern Community Laboratories Ltd (SCL) seeking clearance to acquire 100% of the shares in Medlab South Limited.

SCL, which is 100% owned by Healthscope New Zealand Limited, provides pathology services in various regions in New Zealand, including contracted services to the Canterbury and Southern District Health Boards (DHB). From 1 April 2012, SCL is contracted for the next five years to be the sole provider of community pathology services for the Canterbury DHB. SCL also provides cervical screening tests.

Medlab South, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sonic Healthcare New Zealand Limited, is the sole provider of all community and hospital pathology services to the South Canterbury and Nelson/Marlborough DHBs. It has provided community pathology testing services to the Canterbury DHB but will cease those services on 31 March 2012 when the contract expires. Medlab South and related parties also provide cervical screening tests.

The clearance application affects the provision of contracted community and hospital pathology services to the South Canterbury and Nelson/Marlborough DHBs when those contracts expire. It also involves some overlap in the national provision of cervical screening tests.

In considering the application, the Commission’s role is to determine whether the acquisition has the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.


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